Armed Robbery at First Caribbean

On this last day of July, thousands of Belizeans line up at the banks to collect their pay and pay their bills. Add that’s it’s a Friday and the situation becomes even more hectic. But a group of individuals in Belize City decided to try to make some money the easy way, by robbing a bank. They chose the First Caribbean International Bank branch in San Cas Plaza between the Philip Goldson Highway and Belcan Bridge. Around eight forty this morning they struck. An eyewitness, Lloyd Neal, who lived through the ordeal, spoke to reporters.

Lloyd Neal – Was Banking During Robberyvlcsnap-2015-08-03-10h50m05s103

“I didn’t see when anybody entered looking suspicions, because we were chatting watching TV about t6he plane that they found, the wing – G70 down in Asia side there. While I am chatting having fun, I heard “get on the ground and nobody will get hurt.” It made me begin to wonder are they film a movie. Anyway, I got down, because this old man doesn’t want to die too quick – although he is already old. Then I saw the fellow with the gun and then people jumped over the counter – young fellows. We weren’t too scared, because no gun was fired and no big threat was made. But it was done in a very quick time. About 4 persons jumped over the counter, came up back with bags and so on. The truth is that we were not very frightened because no gun was fired.”

 According to Neal the robbers, about five of them, moved precisely and quickly and did not attempt to hide their faces. They searched the security officers for weapons but did not harm customers. At their afternoon briefing, police, after speaking to customers and bank staff at the scene and reviewing surveillance footage, said they had detained three persons pending continued investigation and likely charges, but were not able to say how much money had been stolen. Superintendent of Police Lynden Flowers is the officer commanding Precinct 4 based in Belama under Eastern Division (North) Commander Dezerie Phillips. He told us more about the investigation so far.

Supt. Lynden Flowers – OC. Precinct 4, Extern Division (North)vlcsnap-2015-08-03-10h50m18s215

” The persons that we have in custody, are the persons that are the suspects of the camera that have been revealed so far as well as citizens in the area are all known to police. All the names that have come up in the investigation so far is known to the police.”

 Reporter

“Can you say where they were captured?”

 Supt. Lynden Flowers

“Across the city. One of the male persons were captured on the farther end of the south-side of the Queen Street area.

 Reporter
“Can you say if these persons are gang related and if any of the monies that were stolen has been recovered?”

Supt. Linden Flowers
“At this moment I cannot say if any of the monies were recovered. We are still in some hot searches for what should be the monies that were stolen.”

  The police have a booth sitting at the foot of the overpass next to the Belcan Bridge. The single officer stationed at the booth claimed not to have been aware of what was happening until it was all over. Superintendent Flowers discussed this and what was told to that officer.

Supt. Linden Flowersvlcsnap-2015-08-03-11h06m09s250
“Yes, an officer was at the booth that is located at the roundabout on the San Cas compound and an officer was stationed there and his report so far is that the quickness of when it occurred he was not alerted until after the robbery had taken place.”

Reporter
“Is that an acceptable excuse? Is that an acceptable reason for not being involved or trying to prevent or stop this crime in progress?”

Supt. Linden Flowersvlcsnap-2015-08-03-11h02m04s100
“At the moment except if other things arise, because of the location, there were a number of persons moving around, I am still doing some investigation into that. But I will say that I have told the officer that he needs to be more alert. So I want to see more alertness in the area – but it could have happened.”

Police say at least three of the accused robbers were armed but no firearms have been recovered so far. Also the vehicle used in the incident, a green van, is still at large.

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